Author and Contributors: Larry D. Smith with Contributions by Carole Kutz, Cloyd Neely, Suzanne & Paul Ohl, Robert Resig and Timothy Van Scoyoc and photography by Bernard R. Smith—with Contributions by Carole Kutz, Cloyd Neely, Suzanne & Paul Ohl, Robert Resig and Timothy Van Scoyoc and photography by Bernard R. Smith.
This book is the first and only comprehensive history of Blair County to be published since 1945. Blair County, Pennsylvania was erected out of Huntingdon and Bedford Counties in the year 1846. The year 1996 marked Blair’s 150th Anniversary as a separate county. This volume, recognized by the Blair County Commissioners as the official Sesquicentennial history book, and comprising 833 pages of text, 29 pages of footnotes, a 61 page index and 439 photographs, was produced to commemorate that anniversary.
The region encompassed by present-day Blair County comprised approximately two-thirds of the region which was formed as Frankstown Township within Bedford County in the year 1775. Blair County’s Euro-American history actually extends farther back beyond the dawn of that period of 220 years. The first white settlers to homestead in this region are believed to have come to this region during the decade preceding the formation of Frankstown Township.
Earlier still in Pre-historic times, numerous Indian tribes sojourned in this region. Building upon the rich historical tradition established by a half dozen Blair County historians of yesteryear, this volume describes the historical events back to that time.
A number of features set this volume apart from other books about the history of Blair County. Unlike the previously published history books, which relied largely on unverified sources of information, this volume has been footnoted throughout. The serious researcher will find original source material transcribed verbatim. The editors of earlier history books altered the spelling and punctuation of original source materials to conform to their own contemporary grammar. This volume presents the original materials as they were written.
Previously history books have provided biographical sketches of only certain settlers and have often led the reader to assume that there were perhaps only ten or fifteen pioneer families that homesteaded there. One chapter in this volume provides short sketches of the lives of the over two hundred pioneer settlers who appeared in this region from the earliest settlement (i.e. circa 1768) to the year 1783 when the American Revolutionary War came to a close and people began to move westward en-masse.
Some items included in the 150th Anniversary History of Blair County:
- Detailed history of each township and borough in the county, along with a chronological history of the City of Altoona
- Critical analysis of various subjects presented in earlier published history books which conflict with the public records
- Determination of the earliest settlers within each township and borough region from public records rather than “word of mouth” sources.
- Maps showing the evolution of the various townships of Blair County.
- Complete and verbatim transcriptions of Tax Assessment Records for each township for the year closest to the year the township was formed.
- A detailed history of the region during the American Revolutionary War (the only conflict in which this region was directly affected). Included is the most complete and accurate guide to the burial sites of Revolutionary War Patriots in Blair County soil.
- A history of the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and various other units in which men of color participated in the Civil War.
- A complete transcript of the Act whereby the county of Blair was erected out of Bedford and Huntingdon Counties in the year 1846. List index plus surname index including over 6,000 names.
1997, 8.5" X 11", Hardbound, 926 pages
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